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Learn about Independent Living Units

ILUs Independent Living Units

What are ILUs?

An independent living unit in a retirement village is generally:

  • described as a unit, villa unit, town house or something similar
  • designed for retirees who are able to live independently within a retirement village.

The unit can have one or more bedrooms and can be:

  • in a multi-storey building or complex
  • a terrace house
  • semi-detached (for example, a duplex)
  • stand-alone or fully detached.

What are retirement villages?

Retirement villages are premises where a community of seniors live in independent living units or serviced units and share common facilities and amenities.

They cater for retirees and older members of the community who can live independently. In some villages, personal care and support services can be purchased for a fee.

Retirement villages may be owned by:

  • commercial operators
  • charitable, religious or ethnic not-for-profit organisations.

They don’t receive government funding.

What are fees and charges for ILUs?

There are many different costs involved when entering a retirement village or ILU such as:

  • Ingoing contribution
  • Ongoing charges (maintenance of the unit, maintenance and use of communal facilities, some utility charges)
  • Exit fees

In some cases, an ingoing payment is not required where not-for-profit providers focus on the needs of older people on low incomes.

Fees and charges differ from one ILU to another.

What services do ILUs provide?

Services may include but are not limited to:

– Home maintenance,

– Paying rates and water bills,

– Help with home improvements

– Booking appointments with visiting allied health professionals.

Do I need to sign a contract with ILU?

Yes. It is important to understand the terms and conditions of the contract, they differ from one ILU to another.

Generally, ILUs offer the security of tenure, meaning you can stay there for as long as you like or need, but it is worthwhile checking this with each ILU before signing an agreement.

Eligibility criteria

Eligibility for Independent Living Units is as varied as the number of organisations that manage them. Generally, they are available for people over 60 years of age who have retired from full-time employment and can live independently. The vast majority of residents are on the aged pension.

Other retirement accommodation options

Residential aged care facilities

Retirement villages differ from residential aged care facilities (formerly known as nursing homes). These are facilities that provide various levels of supportive care, and are administered and operated under the Commonwealth Aged Care Act 1997. An aged care assessment is required for entry to these facilities. If you’d like to find a placement in a residential aged care facility, click here.

Home Care Packages (HCP)

Home Care Packages (HCP) are one of the ways that older Australians can access affordable care services to get some help at home. They are designed for those with more complex care needs that go beyond what the Commonwealth Home Support Programme can provide. If you need help navigating your home care journey, please click here. 

Residential services (boarding houses and hostels for seniors and aged rental accommodation)

Retirement villages differ from supported residential service facilities, such as private boarding houses and hostels for seniors and aged rental accommodation. These other facilities provide rental accommodation and, in some cases, personal care to older people and people with disabilities.